Character: Matthew Crawley
(played by Dan Stevens)
Matthew Crawley (b.1890) is the son of the late Reginald Crawley and Isobel. He is a distant cousin of the aristocratic Crawley family who is working as a solicitor in Manchester when he becomes the heir to the Earldom and the Downton estate due to the death of the closer male heirs. He moves to Downton and continues to work as a solicitor until WWI when he joins the army and rises to the rank of captain. He is injured in the war, but after he recovers, and the death of his fiancé Lavinia, he becomes engaged to his cousin Lady Mary, and marries her at the start of the third series. He saves Downton from ruin due to an inheritance and becomes, effectively, joint owner.